I went into Star Trek with trepidation–who were these guys who thought they could waltz in and play these iconic characters that I loved? I also went in with a great deal of excitement–the thought of never seeing Kirk, Spock, and McCoy in action again seemed just as unacceptable, and the previews were intriguing. In the end, the fan-boy side of me won, so I went opening night.
I was right on both counts. I think anyone who isn’t a major Trekkie will likely love this movie. Big-time fans, though, are going to have some problems with it, and how much they like it will in large part depend on their tolerance for the things that just aren’t quite right.
Discussing this will involve some spoilers, so let’s throw a fold in here…
Right–Spock. Zachary Quinto is a dead-ringer for Leonard Nimoy. He doesn’t have the mannerisms quite right and his voice sounds a lot different, but I don’t know who out there would have been a better pick.
Wrong–Uhura. Zoe Saldana looks great in a mini-skirt, but she doesn’t look or act anything like Uhura.
Right–McCoy. Karl Urban just nails DeForest Kelly’s speech and mannerisms.
Wrong–Sulu. Is John Cho the only Asian actor in Hollywood? Like with Uhura, he’s not even close.
Right–Sarek. For a second I thought Ben Cross was Mark Lenard returned from the dead.
Right–Scotty. Simon Pegg plays a younger, wilder Scotty, but you can see James Doohan emerging down the road.
In the Middle–Kirk and Checkhov. Checkhov isn’t well developed, and his hair is completely wrong, but we’ll see. Young Kirk does not have the gravitas he will need to develop in the sequels, but he’s fine for this early time period.
Right–Loads of references to the originals. One bit with Sulu had me laughing loudly in the theater.
In the Middle, Leaning Against–Wiping the slate clean. A plot device involving time travel essentially means that nothing in the original series, the Next Generation, or the earlier movies ever happened! My feelings are very mixed on this. I understand the filmmakers not wanting to be tied too strictly to existing mythology. But isn’t this a bit much? Has Star Trek turned into Dallas?
If you’ve got thoughts on any or all of this, please share them in the comments.